The Monday Check-In ~ 12/2/2019

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. 

Feeling recharged after a restful and happy long weekend, spent relaxing and enjoying family and friends.

A blogging question:

I wrote a post about this over the weekend — does anyone have any favorite WordPress themes to recommend? I’m looking for something clean and simple. I’m not 100% sure that I want to make a switch, but I’m thinking about options.

What did I read during the last week?

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss: Such fun! My review is here.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes: Sweet! Finished late Sunday – review to follow.

Pop culture:

My family had a blast seeing this movie on Thanksgiving morning:

And on Saturday, my daughter and I had a wonderful time seeing…

Fresh Catch:

Amazon had a Black Friday buy-two-get-one-free offer on books, so naturally I took advantage! Here’s what I got:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Deep by Rivers Solomon: I’m just getting started, but definitely excited that my library hold came in this week.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood: I’ve listened to about 40% — really entertaining so far!

Ongoing reads:

Two ongoing book group reads right now:

  • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: The current group read for my book group. Such a great story! A must for Outlander fans.
  • Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck: Our new classic read, starting today. We’ll be reading and discussing two chapters per week. I’m really looking forward to it!

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

The Monday Check-In ~ 11/25/2019

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. 

Happy Thanksgiving… a few days early! Wishing everyone a lovely week!

 

 

 

 

 

What did I read during the last week?

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: Tense, violent, gory, and compelling. My review is here.

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle: Just finished the audiobook, and was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it. My review is here.

Pop culture:

Is it cold out? I’m feeling kind of FROZEN.

Yes, I saw Frozen 2 on Saturday… with my teenaged son… who enjoyed it every bit as much as I did. Fun and sweet.

Fresh Catch:

A huge THANK YOU to Tammy at Books, Bones, & Buffy! I won this book in her monthly giveaway, and it arrived this week. I couldn’t be more excited!

I also indulged myself a little by getting carried away on the Book Depository site and ordering ALL of Christina Henry’s books, which arrived this week. These covers are so gorgeous! I’ve read two already, but I really needed all of these on my shelves.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss: I’m at about the 70% mark in this delightful Victorian romp. It’s the first in a trilogy, and I’ll definitely be continuing.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood: Another light listen from the library! I’ve just barely gotten started — so far, so good!

Ongoing reads:

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: The current group read for my book group. Such a great story! A must for Outlander fans.

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

The Monday Check-In ~ 11/18/2019

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. 

Like the sun coming out from behind the clouds… this week was a definite improvement over the previous couple.

Vagueitup GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Still a lot going on (and yes, I’m vague-ing it up), but I’m starting to feel more upbeat!

What did I read during the last week?

If I Grow Up by Todd Strasser: A tough, compelling YA book that my teen son urged me to read. My review is here.

A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: That’s it. I’m calling this one. I read something like 75% of this book, then kind of wandered off and didn’t get around to finishing… and at this point, I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to. I liked everything I read so far, but just can’t quite make myself pick it up again right now. Ah well, there’s always next October!

In audiobooks:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: I really enjoyed my audiobook re-read — can’t wait to read her new(ish) book about the Owens witches.

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock: I loved this book so much when I first read it in 2017 (here’s my review), and I loved it all over again when I listened to the audiobook this week. The writing is beautiful, the characters are compelling and unique, the Alaska setting is magnificent, and the interconnectedness of all of the lives in this slim novel is truly remarkable.

Fresh Catch:

Tor has been releasing a selection of sci-fi/fantasy books in miniature hardcover format, and I couldn’t resist these two. I read Briar Rose years ago, and haven’t yet read Tooth and Claw, although I’ve been wanting to for ages. The format is so cute!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: I’m STILL reading this book! I started it a week ago, but kept getting pulled away by other commitments. I’m finally really getting on a roll, and hope to steam ahead to the end!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle: I haven’t actually started this one yet, but (a) it sounded light and sweet, and (b) it was available to borrow from the library today, so off we go!

Ongoing reads:

A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: The current group read for my book group. Such a great story! A must for Outlander fans.

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

The Monday Check-In ~ 11/11/2019

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. 

Intense.

Just like the week before.

‘Nuff said.

 

 

 

 

What did I read during the last week?

The Mermaid by Christina Henry: Absolutely loved it! My review is here.

I loved both of these contemporary romances! Perfect choices for a week when I wanted some light, escapist reading. My two-fer review is here.

Pop Culture:

LOVED the first episode of His Dark Materials on HBO! I’m so excited to finally see these amazing books getting a worthy adaptation.

Fresh Catch:

Another new book from Subterranean Press — this one is a collection of stories by Seanan McGuire. It looks amazing!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: I’ve never read anything by this author before. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but I like how gory and disturbing it is so far.

Now playing via audiobook:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: I haven’t had much listening time this week, so this book is draggggggging on for me. I like it, and the narration is great… it just feels like I’ve been listening to it FOREVER already. Should finish in the next couple of days, depending on how much driving I end up doing.

Ongoing reads:

  • A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: I haven’t touched this book in over a week, and I only have about 50 pages left. I’m not feeling very motivated to finish… but I’m not ready to declare it a DNF just yet either. Will soldier on… for now.
  • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: This is a terrific novella set in the Outlander world, and while I’ve read it at least twice already, I’m enjoying reading it more slowly with my book group, discussing two sections per week.

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

The Monday Check-In ~ 11/4/2019

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 won’t get into all the reasons why, but this past week has been highly stressful, and so I’ve been quite distracted — and it definitely had an impact on my reading, since my concentration was pretty shot. Here’s hoping there are better days ahead!

 

 

 

 

What did I read during the last week?

  • Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw (review)
  • Marilla of Green Gables (audiobook) by Sarah McCoy (review)

I also read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I started this book using the Serial Reader app, intending to read it in the nicely doled out daily installments… and then I just couldn’t stop reading! I ended up putting aside my other current reads over the weekend and read this one straight through to the end. What a story! The language is amazing, and it feels great to finally read the classic story that I’ve always heard about.

Pop Culture:

I started watching Modern Love on Amazon. I’ve only seen two of the eight episodes so far, but I really liked them!

Fresh Catch:

Three cheers for the arrival of this beautiful new book from Subterranean Press — a collection of Gail Carriger stories, including one new one about the infamous hedgehog encounter mentioned in Soulless. Can’t wait to read it!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Mermaid by Christina Henry: I haven’t had all that much uninterrupted time to focus on this book — but I really love what I’ve read up to now!

Now playing via audiobook:

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman: It’s probably 15 years or more since I first read this book, and since I want to read the prequel that came out last year, I decided a re-read was in order. I’d forgotten practically everything about the plot, so the audiobook feels like listening to a new story most of the time. Really fun.

Ongoing reads:

  • A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: Oops. I meant to finish this book by the end of October… and failed. The chapters correspond to the days of the month in October, and I think I stopped somewhere around the 26th or 27th. Need to finish!
  • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: This is a terrific novella set in the Outlander world, and while I’ve read it at least twice already, I’m enjoying reading it more slowly with my book group, discussing two sections per week.

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

The Monday Check-In ~ 10/28/2019

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. 

On the down side, I was home sick most of this past week. Nothing major, just a nasty cold that left me feeling wrung out for days and days and days.

Of course, the bright side is that I read. A lot! Being home all day does have its perks.

 

 

 

 

 

What did I read during the last week?

So many books! Here’s what I read:

  • The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones (review)
  • Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman (review)
  • The Beautiful Cassandra by Jane Austen (review)
  • Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren (review)
  • One of Us by Craig DiLouie (review)
  • Broken Strings by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer (review)
  • Today We Go Home by Kelli Estes (review)
  • Bloodlust and Bonnets by Emily McGovern (fun graphic novel – not reviewed)

Pop Culture:

I watched all 8 episodes of the new Paul Rudd series Living With Yourself on Netflix. (The episodes are only 30 minutes each, so it was a quick and easy binge.) It’s funny and quirky, well-done, silly, and with some interesting messages and concepts underneath the surface comedy. Definitely recommended!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week. My credit card thanks me.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw: Just getting started — but good and spooky so far!

Now playing via audiobook:

Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy: Because I was sick for so many days, with no long walks or driving back and forth to work, I did very little audiobook listening, so not much progress to report on this book. Looking forward to getting back into it!

Ongoing reads:

  • A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: I keep falling behind! The book has 31 chapters, nicely labeled by the date in October, and my goal was to read one chapter per day for the whole month. Oops. Still, I haven’t quite missed the target entirely — I’m going to try to catch up and finish by Halloween!
  • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows by Diana Gabaldon: This is a terrific novella set in the Outlander world, and while I’ve read it at least twice already, I’m enjoying reading it more slowly with my book group, discussing two sections per week.
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: On impulse, I started yet another book via Serial Reader! As if I don’t already have enough to read… If I stick to the serial delivery schedule, I’ll finish by late November.

So many books, so little time…

boy1seria

Top Ten Tuesday: Top ten books I bought in 2015… but still haven’t read

Top 10 Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t. I’m reinterpreting this one to include anything I bought in 2015 but haven’t read yet, not just new releases from 2015. Here are the books that for whatever reason I had to have RIGHT NOW! IMMEDIATELY! GIMME!, but then stuck on my shelf and never picked up again.

1) Carry On by Rainbow Rowell: OF COURSE I bought this one the second it came out. I love Rainbow Rowell and I loved Fangirl and… I have no idea what my problem is.

Carry On

2) Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell: I love everything by Mary Doria Russell, and loved her Doc Holliday book (appropriately named Doc). I bought Epitaph right when it was released so I’d have a chance to read it before she came to my town on her book tour. And then her book tour appearance was cancelled, and I never got around to the book.

epitaph

3) The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg: I loved the author’s previous novel, Openly Straight (review), and I’m really excited for this one. Plus, a porcupine on the cover!

Porcupine of Truth

4) The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber: Really sounds awesome, and I have a friend who loved it — but it’s over 500 pages, and I just haven’t been in the mood to tackle it yet.

Book of Strange New Things

5) The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan: I actually have a good excuse for not reading this one yet. I was going to read it as soon as I got a copy last year, and then my book group picked it for this coming spring, so of course I had to wait!

Narrow Road to the Deep North

6) Cheating here and listing a trilogy as one entry: I picked up all three books in Holly Black’s Curse Workers series last year, but haven’t touched them yet. Given that one of my resolutions is to binge-read series instead of reading them one book at a time, this might make a good place to start!

CurseWorkers

7) Conversion by Katherine Howe: This is a 2014 book (described as “Prep meets The Crucible”!) that I bought in 2015, and it’s been sitting on my nightstand ever since.

Conversion

8) Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey: This one actually is a 2015 release, and it sounds like just the kind of historical fiction that gets me in the heart.

Letters to the Lost

9) Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen: A Vietnamese-American woman with a possible connection to Laura Ingalls Wilder? Yes, please!

Pioneer Girl

10) Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain: The little bits and pieces I’ve read so far tell me that this is a book designed for me!

Quiet

 

If I stick to my plan to read more from my shelves this year, then I should be able to get to these book in 2016!

What 2015 books do you still need to read? Please share your TTT links!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Shelf Control and Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/10/2015

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 last week?

Uncommon ReaderThe Uninvited

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett: This novella is such a treat for bookworms! It’s a sweet, funny, charming piece of short fiction about what might happen if the Queen of England suddenly became an obsessive reader. The writing itself is such fun, as well as the storyline. I featured a few passages from this book for my Thursday Quotables post last week — check it out here.

The Uninvited by Cat Winters: Done! Watch for my blog tour post and review, coming up on Thursday. Want a hint ahead of time? This one is getting high marks!

And in graphic novels:

Kingsman

After watching the movie Kingsman a couple of weeks ago, I thought I should check out the comic it was based on. The movie is over-the-top violent, but worth it to see Colin Firth kicking major butt (while impeccably dressed, of course.) The comic was originally issued as The Secret Service, and this paperback volume collects the whole story in one edition. It’s a fun, goofy way to spend an afternoon.

And if you haven’t seen the movie and want a little taste:

 

Fresh Catch:

New goodies this week!

FC0815a

Okay, I got a little silly playing with images… Here, with colorful critters, are my new arrivals — including three bought, one ARC courtesy of Goodreads FirstReads (yippee!), and a library book.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
In the Unlikely EventWhat You Left Behind

I’ve just started In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume, which jumps to the top of my priority list since it’s a non-renewable library book. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a Judy Blume book — I still have fond/embarrassing memories of how into Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Deenie, and Forever we all were back in the day.

I’m behind on my ARCS. Still. Again. Forever. But in any case, I’m very determined to read What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi this week.

Now playing via audiobook:

Mansfield Park

Just finished Mansfield Park! I could have sworn that I’d read Mansfield Park before, but the further I went in the audiobook, the more I realized that it was all pretty new to me. I’m glad to have filled in the gap in my Austen reading! Little, meek Fanny Price definitely grew on me, and despite shipping the wrong couple for a while, I was overall pretty charmed by this book.

So what’s next? I think it’s about time to shake things up and listen to something very different from all the Austens I’ve been spending time with lately… so, to get as un-Austen as might be possible, my next audiobook will be a collection of Dresden shorts by Jim Butcher:

Working for Bigfoot

Ongoing reads:

ABOSAAN&S

Two chapters per week for each of these, for my online book group discussions. Both books should be done by December!

So many book, so little time…

boy1

 

 

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/3/2015

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 last week?

DemelzaNever Always Sometimes

Wow, this has been a really slow reading week. Somehow, the time just slid away, and there was just too much else going on. I hate when that happens.

But I did manage to finish:

Demelza by Winston Graham, book 2 in the Poldark series. And if you want to hear more about the books or PBS’s Masterpiece production of Poldark, check out my very enthusiastic post, here. There’s even some delicious eye candy…

Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid: This was my weekend read, and I ended up really enjoying it. My review is here.

Fresh Catch:

Heartbreak! The very last volume in the wonderful Fables series arrived this week… and I’m holding off on reading it for a few more days until I feel really ready to see how it all works out.

Fables v22

Sharing the big version of the cover image — because it’s the last volume of Fables and it deserves all the love!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
Circling the SunWhat You Left Behind

Ack! Having a hard time deciding what to read next, between all the ARCs glaring at me whenever I turn on my Kindle and the new stack of library books. (Can I help it if all my hold requests come in at the same time?)

As of this moment, I believe my next two books will be:

  • Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
  • What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi
Now playing via audiobook:

Mansfield Park

I’m approaching the halfway mark in the Mansfield Park audiobook. At this point, I’m not loving this one as much as the other Austens I’ve listened to this year. It’s been so long since I read the book, and I really don’t remember much of the plot. So far, there’s a lot of walking about in gardens and parks, plus a real lot of planning for a play. I hope it picks up soon!

Ongoing reads:

ABOSAAN&S

I’m dropping Eldest (by Chris Paolini) from my currently reading list for now. I was reading it with my son, and he just doesn’t seem interested anymore — and I’m not sure that I’m interested enough to keep going without his participation.

So, for now at least, my two ongoing reading projects are my group reads with Outlander Book Club. Still enjoying the heck out of these!

So many book, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/27/2015

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 last week?

Maybe in Another LifeGo Set A Watchman

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Done! My review is here.

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee: I read this book during the past week, and shared some thoughts about it here.

Elsewhere on the blog:

I shared some highlights and photos from my trip to the Canadian Rockies, here. (I know, I know… other people’s vacation pics!)

I also wrote a bit about revisiting Jane Austen’s books without really planning to. Check out My Year of Austen!

Fresh Catch:

One new book added to my toppling stacks this week:

Northanger Abbey 3

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:
Demelza

Continuing on with the Poldark series by Winston Graham, I’m in the middle of the 2nd book, Demelza. The fact that the BBC production is so unbelievably gorgeous is definitely a contributing factor to my interest in these books! But really, I’m just truly enjoying the story.

Now playing via audiobook:

Sense and Sensibility 2Mansfield Park

My year of Austen audiobooks continues! I just finished Sense and Sensibility over the weekend, and I’m now starting Mansfield Park. I’m loving “re-reading” these books via audio.

Ongoing reads:

EldestABOSAAN&S

My kiddo and I have completely stalled out on our Eldest reading project. I should check to see if he’s still interested in continuing (because if he’s not, I’m not sure that I’ll bother with it either). Also ongoing, my two group reads with Outlander Book Club — two chapters per week from now until we’re done!

So many book, so little time…

boy1