The Monday Check-In ~ 9/20/2021

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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 Genaro Servu00edn on Pexels.com

Hey, hey, it’s my birthday!

I don’t make much of a fuss about it, and my plans are pretty low-key. I’m working today, after all! But my husband and I did enjoy a nice pre-birthday dinner out this past Friday, at a favorite restaurant that has a really pretty outdoor seating set-up.

Other than that… 3 of the 4 of us on my work team have September birthdays, so we had a group lunch to celebrate last week.

And I’ve been told that we’ll do a family dinner out sometime this week, depending on everyone’s schedules.

Meanwhile, I feel blessed to have a wonderful family, all in good health!

Blogging update:

When it comes to blogging, I haven’t been feeling it, really, over the last couple of weeks — probably because I’ve been traveling and super busy. I just wrote my first review in about two weeks!

I’m still reading, but trying to balance reading the spur-of-the-moment books that I pick up with my ARC pile, so I don’t end up loaded down by obligation reading. It’s always a challenge!

All this to say — I’m still here, just pulled into too many directions right now to be very good about regular blogging or spending time keeping up with other people’s blogs the way I want to.

I’m sure things will settle down… eventually… and I’ll get back to (more or less) normal routines.

What did I read during the last week?

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye, #1) by Seanan McGuire: Super fun to go back to the beginning of this fabulous series via audiobook!

When Sorrows Come (October Daye, #15) by Seanan McGuire: In addition to listening to the first in the series, I read the brand-new release in the ongoing October Daye series. My review is here.

The Pick-Up by Miranda Kenneally: A fun, quick read by a terrific YA author. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I watched the first 3 episodes of Y: The Last Man. Really liking it so far!

Fresh Catch:

I didn’t buy any new books this week, but I did treat myself to two new bookish shirts:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

An Observant Wife by Naomi Ragen: This is a sequel to An Unorthodox Match, which I found so interesting. I’ve only just started this book — looking forward to getting further into it.

Now playing via audiobook:

Miss Kopp Investigates (Kopp Sisters, #7) by Amy Stewart: A new Kopp Sisters book is always a treat, and I just love the narration for these audiobooks!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. This week: Chapters 101 – 105.

Haven’t started this one yet, but our next group classic read will be Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. We’re starting next week!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 9/13/2021

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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’m back!

I just spent a wonderful week in North Carolina with my daughter, splitting our time between Raleigh/Durham and the Asheville area. We hiked, shopped, enjoyed amazing views, beautiful outdoor spaces, read tons, and enjoyed each others’ company.

Now I’m home again, catching up on emails, blogging, bills, and laundry. Sigh. Back to the real world!

What did I read during the last week?

Between long hours on airplanes and quiet times where we both indulged our love of reading, I did manage to get through a few books this week. I wrote up a wrap-up post (here) with reviews of all my new reads from the past two weeks. These are the books I finished during my travels:

Pop culture & TV:

The only TV viewing I did this past week was watching the first couple of episodes of the new season of What We Do In the Shadows. Love it so much.

Fresh Catch:

Even though I read an ARC of this book, when I saw a paperback in a used book store, I had to have it:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Sunrise by the Sea by Jenny Colgan: I started this book on the flight home, and the hours zipped by!

Now playing via audiobook:

Rosemary & Rue (October Daye, #1) by Seanan McGuire: My daughter is as big a fan of the October Daye series as I am, so we decided to indulge in the first audiobook of the series while on our road trip.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. This week: Chapters 96 – 100.

Haven’t started this one yet, but our next group classic read will be Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. We’ll be starting at the end of September. If you’re interested in participating, just let me know!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 9/6/2021

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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.

(via Pinterest)

I’M ON VACATION!

Thanks to the good timing of Labor Day and Rosh HaShanah falling during the same week, I’m turning a five-day weekend into an entire week off.

I’m probably not going to be posting much this week — I’m spending the week visiting my daughter in North Carolina, and my focus is definitely not on blogging.

But yes, of course I’m reading a ton too. Just not worrying too much about writing reviews for now…

What did I read during the last week?

I’ll probably do a review round-up post once I’m back home, but keeping things simple at the moment… here’s what I’ve read since my last Monday Check-In:

Pop culture & TV:

I’m way behind the rest of the TV-watching world… but I finally started watching Killing Eve! Six episodes in, and I’m hooked. Taking a little break while I’m away this week, but I will definitely be continuing.

Fresh Catch:

One new book — just had to buy a copy!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle: A YA retelling of Romeo and Juliet. I’ve just barely started, but it’s good so far!

Now playing via audiobook:

A Killing Frost (October Daye, #14) by Seanan McGuire: A new Toby book comes out NEXT WEEK (yay!!), which means it’s time for an audio re-read of the previous one. I always love the Toby audiobooks — author Mary Robinette Kowal is the narrator, and she’s excellent.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. This week: Chapters 91 – 94 plus the coda interlude.

Haven’t started this one yet, but our next group classic read will be Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. We’ll be starting at the end of September. If you’re interested in participating, just let me know!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/30/2021

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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.

After a summer of gray, overcast skies, the sun finally came out this past week, and it’s been glorious! I managed to fit in a few beach walks and some outdoor reading time, and it’s amazing how little moments like those can instantly put me in a happy mood!

Of course, the sunny interlude didn’t last past Saturday… but I enjoyed it while it was here.

What did I read during the last week?

Ruin and Rising (Shadow & Bone, #3) by Leigh Bardugo: I suppose I’m glad to have read the trilogy, but overall, I thought the story was just okay. Yet another Chosen One? Ho hum. I’m interested enough in this world to read the other related books, but I can’t say I more than just liked the story.

Heroes by Stephen Fry: I finished the audiobook, and loved it. Stephen Fry is an amazing storyteller, and he’s a fantastic audiobook narrator for this collection of tales from Ancient Greece. My review is here.

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon: Lovely, moving YA. My review is here.

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips: I’m a little late, but I finally read my book group’s pick for August! I’ll probably write up some thoughts later in the week — but first, I need to go catch up on the group discussion!

Pop culture & TV:

I finished the American-Israeli series Hit & Run on Netflix, and thought it was great, although it definitely fell outside the type of viewing I usually prefer. Check out my thoughts on the series here.

I’ve started watching Reservation Dogs on Hulu, but other than that, I’m in between shows. I suppose I could watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead, but I’m having a hard time building up any interest at all. Still, it’s the final season and I’ve lasted this long, so I suppose I should watch it.

Fresh Catch:

Once again, no new physical books! Although I have added a few more e-books to my Kindle library…

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado: I’m on a roll with reading my daughter’s recommendations, and this one just came in from my library holds list.

Now playing via audiobook:

A Killing Frost (October Daye, #14) by Seanan McGuire: A new Toby book comes out in September (yay!!), which means it’s time for an audio re-read of the previous one. I always love the Toby audiobooks — author Mary Robinette Kowal is the narrator, and she’s excellent.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. This week: Chapters 86 – 90.

Also in book group, we’ve doing a group read of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, and we’re finishing this week!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/23/2021

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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.

What a week. My husband and I were supposed to be heading up to Yosemite for a 4-night stay starting yesterday, but due to smoke from wildfires and concerns about air quality, we decided very last minute not to go. So… there goes this week’s vacation!

What did I read during the last week?

Siege and Storm (Shadow & Bone, #2) by Leigh Bardugo: I’m continuing with the Grishaverse books as they become available from the library. Just finished #2, and I liked it enough to keep going, although I don’t feel hugely invested.

The Stand-In by Lily Chu (performed by Phillipa Soo): A fun contemporary romance audiobook. The narration is a treat! My review is here.

Feral Creatures by Kira Jane Buxton: Weird and wonderful follow-up to Hollow Kingdom. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

My son and I watched The Silent Place II, and I gotta say, it was pretty terrifying! I had a whole bunch of jump-scare reactions (leading to my son being very amused at my expense). I also started the series Hit & Run on Netflix, and so far, it’s really good!

Fresh Catch:

No new books! Unless you count all the Kindle deals I just couldn’t resist…

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon: Yay, I’m finally reading this one! I bought a copy several months ago, but it took a reminder from my daughter (who just read and loved this book) for me to remember to get to it.

And since this library book just came through, I’m flipping over to this one, once in a while, in between chapters of the other:

Now playing via audiobook:

Heroes by Stephen Fry: I really enjoyed listening to Mythos last year, and was just reminded that I never got around to listening to the next book. With Stephen Fry narrating, it’s a very fun way to absorb some classical storytelling!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 81 – 85.

Also in book group, we’re doing a group read of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. We’ll be done next week.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/16/2021

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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 was my son’s birthday this past weekend. My baby is 19!! Where did the time go?

Other than that, it’s been a busy week, catching up on work after being away, and always feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done and still have time to read, watch TV, and try to fit in a bit of exercise too!

What did I read during the last week?

She Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Sarah Adlakha: This time-travel thriller seems to have high ratings on Goodreads, but it just didn’t do it for me. My review is here.

Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce: A nice historical fiction follow-up to the 2018 novel Dear Mrs. Bird. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

This was the week I fell in love with Love, Victor! I also managed to catch up on season 2 of A Discovery of Witches, and I’m excited to start watching the first four episodes of the final season of Grace & Frankie (the rest of the season airs in 2022).

Fresh Catch:

No new books!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Juggling two books:

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips: My book group’s discussion of this book is coming up this week, and I’ve barely even started! I need to get down to some serious reading if I’m going to finish in time.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo: I’m also continuing with the Grisha books. Onward to #2!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Stand-In by Lily Chu: I didn’t have much listening time this past week, but I’m really liking this super cute story of an ordinary woman asked to become a secret stand-in for a movie star. Lots of fun!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 76 – 80.

Also in book group, we’re doing a group read of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. Two more weeks to go.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/9/2021

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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.

Home again! I got back Saturday from a week back east visiting family. Loads of fun, and I was so happy to be able to get time with a bunch of family members and friends, and especially my dad. Now I’m back, gearing up for a return to my work/life routine.

While I was away, I was pretty bad about keeping up with other bloggers and leaving comments, but I hope to get back into the swing of things this week!

On the (very) bright side, being away for a week and having a pretty relaxed scheduled meant that I had LOTS of time to read. Check out all of this week’s books!

What did I read during the last week?

Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler: The 3rd in this cute Alaska-set romance series. My series wrap-up post is here.

On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons, #8) by Julia Quinn: That’s it — I’ve read all the Bridgerton books! Now I just need the next season of the Netflix series. My review is here.

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz: This thriller kept me on the edge of my seat! My review is here.

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary: I just finished this audiobook, and really enjoyed it. Review to follow.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I’m late to the party, I know, but after watching season 1 of the Netflix series, I thought I should give the books a try. I enjoyed Shadow and Bone, but there’s actually almost nothing in this book that wasn’t shown in the TV version, so it wasn’t a particularly exciting reading experience. Still, I intend to keep going. I do like it, just haven’t encountered anything new yet.

Pop culture & TV:

I started watching season 1 of Love, Victor (on Hulu) on the plane ride home, and it’s so good! I’ve only watched 4 episodes so far — but it’s nice to have my next binge all lined up.

Fresh Catch:

No new books!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

She Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Sarah Adlakha: I don’t know much about this book other than that it’s compared to Sliding Doors in a blurb, and that’s enough to make me want to read it! As of when I’m writing this post, I’m just about to get started.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Stand-In by Lily Chu: This audiobook looked really cute and was FREE on Audible, plus it’s narrated by Phillipa Soo, so how could it be bad? I’m only about an hour into it so far, but I’m liking it.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 71 – 75.

Also in book group, we’re doing a group read of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen. This is the 2nd of (I think) 4 weeks, and we’re already getting into some good discussions. And, it’s nice to have a shorter classic to discuss after spending the past year on Don Quixote!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/2/2021

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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.

And back to the East Coast I go! I’m spending one week back east so I can spend time with my father at his nursing home. Apart from visiting every day, I don’t have anything in particular planned so far. I’ll need to do a little work most days, but other than that, hope to catch up with a few old friends and see some family, walk at some pretty beaches and parks, and (of course) fit in a lot of reading!

What did I read during the last week?

Mistletoe & Mr. Right (Moose Springs, #2) by Sarah Morgenthaler: The cover basically tells you all you need to know! I finished the audiobook of this light romance set in a cute Alaskan town. It’s feel-good fluff, and I liked it a lot.

It’s In His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7) by Julia Quinn: Bridgerton books are always fun, and #7 is no exception! My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

Between the Olympics and visiting houseguests, I really didn’t spend too much time in front of the TV (other than watching swimming, gymnastics, and — oddly — rugby). But, I did manage to get caught up on season 2 of A Discovery of Witches, which made me really happy (and made me want to reread the books.)

Fresh Catch:

No new books! I mean, yeah, I did buy a couple of Kindle books and got a couple of ARCs via NetGalley… so I guess I should actually say — no new physical books!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig: I’m at close to 30%, and I hate to say it, but I think I’m going to pause for now. I’m not quite ready to call this one a DNF, but I’m just not really in the mood at the moment, so I’ll set it aside and see how I feel if I read some other books and then come back to it.

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz: After reading Barbara’s great review over at Book Club Mom, I couldn’t resist starting this book right away (and yay for my library having a digital copy available at exactly the right moment.) I’m just getting started, but I’m liking it so far.

Now playing via audiobook:

Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler: Giving in to temptation and continuing straight on through the Moose Springs book!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 66 – 70.

Also in book group, we’ve just started a group read of A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, which we’re reading over the course of 3 – 4 weeks. I know I read this back in high school, but really don’t remember much about it.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/26/2021

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 have barely had time to read this week! We have family visiting, which is awesome, but also means that my usual “me time” has kind of disappeared. I’ve also spent most of the week working at my office rather than at home, and while it’s been fun to be back and see coworkers again, it’s a BIG adjustment in terms of lifestyle. (Whaaaaat??? I can’t wear pajama pants and slippers all day?)

What did I read during the last week?

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell: The 3rd and final book in the Simon Snow trilogy! I’m so sad to see it come to an end. I love these characters so much! My review is here.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix: Just as weird as you’d expect a new horror novel by this author to be! My review is here.

Bookish events:

This past weekend, my book group had a Zoom discussion with William Kent Krueger, the author of the beautiful This Tender Land. He was witty and engaging, very open to answering our questions, and so smart and kind. As if I had any doubt, I absolutely need to read more of his books! (I haven’t gotten around to writing an actual review of the book yet, but my two-word version is: Loved. It.)

Pop culture & TV:

I’ve been watching season 2 of Never Have I Ever on Netflix, and it’s just as good as season 1! I’d hoped to finish already, but well, life gets in the way.

Puzzle of the Week:

This week, I did my 4th and final puzzle in a series (The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady). This was a tough one — so much grass! Green, green, and more green. But I really liked it.

Fresh Catch:

Related to my recent puzzles, I only just learned that the puzzles are based on illustrations from a book — and once I knew that, I just had to have it. I bought myself a copy this week, and it’s beautiful:

I also treated myself to another book by William Kent Krueger, after our amazing book group discussion with him. Although I think the group may select this one as a monthly read for next year, so now my dilemma is — read now, or wait for the group?

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig: I loved Wanderers when I read it last year, and I’m really excited to be starting this new book.

Now playing via audiobook:

Mistletoe & Mr. Right (Moose Springs, #2) by Sarah Morgenthaler: I’ve listened to about half so far. It’s sweet and charming — definitely light entertainment, which is something I needed this week.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 61 – 65.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/19/2021

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 busy workweek, but what else is new? The sun finally came out over the weekend, and I spent every second I could outside!

What did I read during the last week?

Flash Fire by TJ Klune: The 2nd book in The Extraordinaries trilogy. I just want to give this book a hug — I love it so much. My review is here.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger: Wonderful book. For once, I finished my book group book ahead of schedule! I haven’t had a chance to write up a review yet, but I’ll try to get to it this week.

Pop culture & TV:

I binged season 3 of Virgin River this week, and loved and was annoyed by just as much as with the first two season! I wrote up some thoughts here.

Puzzle of the Week:

This is the 3rd of a series of 4 puzzles (The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady). I finished Winter last week, and am almost done with Summer.

Fresh Catch:

I love The Extraordinaries books so much that I treated myself to hardcover editions of books 1 and 2. What can I say — I had Amazon credits burning a hole in my pocket!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell: The 3rd and final Simon Snow book! I only had time to read about half this week, but I’m loving it so far (and so sad this is the end of the saga!).

Now playing via audiobook:

Mistletoe & Mr. Right (Moose Springs, #2) by Sarah Morgenthaler: After a more serious audiobook this past week, I’m starting a light and fluffy romance. I don’t usually go for Christmas stories, but I liked the first book in this series, and what’s not to love about finding romance in Alaska?

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club is doing a speed-re-read of Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, #8 in the Outlander series. We’re reading and discussing 5 chapters per week. Let me know if you want to join in — the more, the merrier! This week: Chapters 56 – 60.

So many books, so little time…

boy1