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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Catch up over a cuppa of joe

I have returned to the blogging work on a very wonky laptop of ours. The PC has had a tantrum of sorts so I have been left with an iPad which is impossible to blog on. Add my new job and a few other things, you get the picture. Books? What books?

Believe it or not I have been reading, not as much as I want to but have cut through a few books this year. Some fabulous some not finished and some sorta-mkay. Like I have said in the past, books are like people, you must have chemistry with them.

I have discovered a few things since I have been gone. I would like to share! I may have shared some off these things before but I swear I have some amnesia going on.

  • Being all about reading different genres I decided that in this time of not being online spouting off about books, to go back to my old favorite authors, read wherever they are in their series and not giving one flying *&#@! if I had missed out on reading earlier books.It helps when life is too fast. 
  • I cannot read before bed. I swear it's like taking a truckload of Lunesta.  One sentence and I could probably have surgery done on me after I fall asleep. It's that sad and bad. 
  • I have convinced myself that I don't have to read every single NEW book out there. So what if I read a book circa 1986 with yellow pages and a ripped cover. In time the new books will be old books, then I can read them.Okay well, not all, I have to have a brand new book for the smell alone. Once in a while. I have looked through my dusty piles and read a few oldies. I felt pleased after blowing all the dust out of it and reading it once again.
  • My friends read much faster than me and it's okay. It wasn't okay but now it's a great way to save on a book after your book friends says, " Skip it, just skip right over it, next to it and save some beans." Okay sure!
  • If you noticed the array of blue covers this year, you weren't alone. Blue EVERYWHERE! Every year I love to see what the book cover trend is. This year it was BLUE.
  • I enjoyed a few books and  I will post them soon, plus I have to update the blog, it looks pretty damn sad. Next time I will use my H's pc. This wonky sticky space bar is driving me insane!
Tally ho and all that, book friends, see you soon.
Cheryl 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Will return soon :)



I have fallen out of the Internet Mainstream because of working and a current  hospitalization due to a transplant issue so I'm too fatigued to write however, good news, I finally read Harry Potter.!

And I have so much to write about the book I refused to read.
Stay well, talk soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

How to get your reading mojo back.

 Hello! 

A blizzard means one thing, lots of reading. I managed to catch up on all my favorite book blogs as well as my book pages on Facebook. I started My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout, it's beautifully written, stark but rich in story.  That's where I am, (thank you Mother Nature you have helped me restart my good reading habits once again.) I've been working on it but the snow created a perfect jumpstart. 

Earlier this month, I decided to read for an hour a night no matter how tired I was as working full time learning new things and meeting new people was (still is! exhausting. But keeping a sense of self when I got home is important so I made sure I indulged nightly. There are zillions of articles about how to get your reading mojo back but this is what I am doing to not feel so overwhelmed with seemingly endless TBR piles as my mojo kicked back in. 


  • Since I am a huge advocate of crossing genres I thought it would be a safe bet to stick to my favorite genre so I wouldn't lose my way again. Fiction. Particularly fiction with subjects I can read without burning up too many brain cells. Or complicated but on topics I like or relate to. 
  • Place all my other genres in order with the book I want to read the most at the top of the pile or list for later reading. That way I am organized when I am are ready to take on other genres. 
  • Signed off of Bookperk and similar discounted emailing book sales sites. After a long period of receiving emails those books make the rounds in the sales department, quite often. The less clutter of sale books taking up space, the better. 
  • I formulated a change on my book group (temporarily) by listing what books members have  read and less "Coming Soon" books so we don't feel even more overwhelmed. 
  • Created a new Goodreads account to start afresh. 
  • Left out the only book I am reading. 
  • If you have a monkey mind like me, keep a Post It note in your book and nake tiny comments to remind you where you are when you return the next day, I've found this to be very helpful. 
  • With instant gratification reigning  in this climate it's hard to sit and read for long periods of time. As in all things, when you lose your reading mojo, you can get it back but it takes work. And a few strategies. You may not get a blizzard but all is not lost! Good Luck! -C. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year! 2016


It's hard to believe that it's 2016. I am still trying to figure out what happened in the '90s. All joking aside, 2015 wasn't the best year for books. I say this after reading many end of the year articles that readers were not happy with most of the books they read (or tried to read.) I tend to agree, working out what to post on my book group every month was a bit rough. Some books just seemed blah or overdone. There were a few gems, however, and some of those gems were books I never thought I would like. Little Big Lies  by Liane Moriarty, read blog here: 
received my overall "Best Book of the Year 2015. " Lots of suburbia humor, interesting fun plot, much  laughter and tears and defected by lovable, hate-able characters. I didn't read much this year, unfortunately,  so I don't have a long list of favorites,  we can go back to my original thought, it wasn't the best year for books or for readers. 


 On a fabulous note!  My husband, my daughter and I received some book gifts from family and friends (and each other) for Christmas! Some are not shown as they were Kindle gifts. I am pretty excited. I also looked into this year and there are some GOOD books coming out! I will blog about that later. For now, I am going to finish up a book for a friend (the book hasn't been published yet) for free and it's VERY GOOD. I will be spotlighting "him" in Authors to love soon. Then I will be into an older book from a while back, Peace Like a  River by Leif Enger as promised to a friend who said I need to read it now (she is very pushy like that, said lovingly.) That's my start of 2016.


One of the interesting things about the book blogging world are the peaks and valleys bloggers go through. I noticed many were taking sabbaticals last year, or wanted to read whatever they wanted to read and not books by publishers.  Some just slowed down on their reading as they were not satisfied with 2015 however, they were blogging about how it has been harder to find time to sit down with a book. Some of the bloggers were encouraging and offered up great ideas to get out of the slump, organize and not always read the best seller lists.

I hate resolutions, I tend to forget my list three days into January. I am me, I am not going to change too much but I do want to think about how I approach my reading habits. For one I am going to ditch my Goodreads account and open up a new one. I want to approach it differently so I can keep tabs on what I am reading, and what I want to read by keeping the list very short. The longer the TBR list the bigger the odds I won't read it. Ever. So this year I want to organize a bit. 

Books are hard to get into when you start an intense new job. I am tired at night and tend to fall asleep after three sentences. Reading in bed isn't feasible. So we decided here at our house that we are going to eke out time during the day, any time to sit and read for an hour, together or apart. 

I wish you the best of the year, may great things happen for you, success, love, more books, health and safety of you and your families. Read on my friends!
Thank you so much for following me, please leave a comment!
Cheryl M



 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas and Merry Happy Jolly to all! (and Part 2 of Gift Giving)


Let's face it, a full time job and a busy life at home does not leave much of a margin to read a book. But I am managing one at the moment. A long one, in fact. Why I do this every holiday is beyond me, last year it was The Goldfinch, this year it's A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I. Love. This. Book.


I was smart this time, I left a piece of paper in the book writing down one or two  sentences of what I was reading and/or characters so I could jump back. This book is engaging from the start. Not a book that soars into your heart right off but it's a big book lead in, interesting characters, eating cheaply in the city, finding an apartment or space to move into, four male friends, that NYC vibe. 



Lots of great comments on the book group about Nightingale by Kristen Hannah. I bought this and put it aside for after I am finished with A Little Life. In between those books, however, I am fortunate enough to read an author's book before it comes out!  I won't say anything now. I will be writing much later when I am able. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~**~~**~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do you buy your book friends besides the usual Amazon, B&N or <insert another book store> gift card? Here is a great start for those readers who will tackle any book, or read a book JUST because you simply gave it to them.. high trust factor and all that...

I have posted all of Man Booker Long List  books on my book group which usually means I have gone further by reading up on all the reviews.Great list, great books, check them out.

And THEN! The annual Goodreads readers poll for the best books of the year, 2015! This is ALWAYS the best list of books for gifts. It is the best list of books for a book group, a book club, you name it! If you are not on Goodreads, please, take a looksee, it is the best way to track books, track what your friends are reading,  track authors, and much more, go. Go now.


And book totes! Here are five from Amazon. (And probably elsewhere, you can check out the original sellers on Amazon.)





Here is the blog I found the totes on, it's a really great blog too. Linking it up here:

 http://book-delight.com/2014/08/bd-friday-five-book-totes.html/

Bookmarks, book ornaments, gift cards, buying a stack of books  and throwing them in a tote (that's a GREAT gift) or a Kindle, a Nook, an iTunes card! We never tire of the Literary gifts and if you want to go one step further go to Amazon or elsewhere and check out Literary jewelry and clothing. 

May you all have a very very safe holiday, be good so Santa can stuff that stocking with more books!

Cheryl


I am signing my name so it's more personal, just pretend I am writing a letter to you. :)
 

The goings on: 
I love my new job, being a discharge planner, AKA Home Care Liaison is a great job, to see patients rolling out the door of the hospital going home to the best  care be it home care of hospice, it is what makes my heart feel better, knowing they will be in good hands. 

 Life is a bit chaotic getting our daughter into a day program which will start after the New Year. 

Our new puppy! Well, she's not new and certainly not a small fluffy dog like some think! Bindi is one of the greatest dogs we have ever owned. She's sturdy, like a tank. You know it when she jumps on you. Great personality, I recommend a Havanese if you need compainionship. LIke, stalker, safe stalker companionship, they are called Velcro dogs for a reason. 

And most of all, we are finally moving forward with "late bloomer" planning (we have been unable to do anything the last ten years for various reasons.) Much to do, life is so short, friends, after seeing hospice patient after hospice patient, please, love one another, forgive if you can (unless they are toxic) and just... read the books you wanted to read, eat off the coffee table if you feel like it, wear all the "good" clothes you keep in your closet to walk the dog or clean the house,, just get out there! Live!

May God Bless you all, Merry Christmas and Holly Jolly Merriment~~!  xo

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Holiday Book Gifts for 2015 Part 1


Every year it's getting harder to buy  for your book nerd family members and friends unless you know exactly what they want. And usually they have eight hundred plus books in their Kindle making them sigh with a mournful face while whispering, "I for real, seriously, totally (insert a word like that) don't know what book I want" leaving you with that awful, what do I buy this person??? They are the impossible readers. So I found a few books here and there under many sites with the blaring:  "Great Gifts" for 2015. 

I had bought myself  Pioneer Girl as seen above. It's huge, like, text book huge and quite lovely if you are a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan. I think I have read every book out there explaining her life over and over but this book is solid. A huge sit down and read what you want to read anywhere in the book kind of book, like say, a text book! Your recipient will be quite happy with your gift. Forever.


The roots of the Texas Stoneware. Hard to get book (as it said on one website) but worth it if someone you love likes a bit of history on stoneware, personally, I would love to have this book. Recommended by the NYT book critics.
 

I JUST looked this book up, Jenny Lawson hails it among other writers (in advance) so it must be good, it must be funny and I am going straight to her blog to check her out. Every year a book lover must receive one funny book for the holidays. It's usually the first book I will read in desolate January when life seems like the Grinch has sucked out all the twinkle lights and sparkly cookies for the rest of time. I will definitely hint hint hint for this one to arrive in my stocking. (Though I must confess, I am becoming weary of snark but sometimes.. just some.. times... you need it.)


This audio collection seems to be a pretty good deal for when you are gathered around the fire while the gloom in the winter is hanging over you like death. You know, those moments in life where you feel like you are in the early forties gathered ye all together freezing to death, hungry, in your stone hut listening to a family member tell everyone a five hundred mile story on war and loss? Yes, this is it. I think it's great. I wish I had a longer commute to work (not really but for this, yes.) And that description above? I think I have lived through a few of those family gatherings.


Pic from Bloomies, full credit there. This is an adorable book. A baby touchy feely book about being an owl. Love the stuffy toy too AND the cover. (I am sucker for book covers that's just how it is.)


I have no idea what this is about. None. I will look it up right now....... this is what Amazon had to say...

Rajiv Joseph is one of today’s most acclaimed young playwrights. The winner of numerous awards, including an NEA Award for Best Play and a Whiting Writers Award, he is an artist to watch. This volume gathers together for the first time his three major works to date.

Included herein are his latest play, Gruesome Playground Injuries, which charts the intersection of two lives using scars, wounds, and calamity as the mile markers to explore why people hurt themselves to gain another’s love and the cumulative effect of such damage; Animals Out of Paper, a subtle, elegant, yet bracing examination of the artistic impulse and those in its thrall, which follows a world-famous origamist as she becomes the unwitting mentor to a troubled young prodigy, even as she must deal with her own loss of inspiration; and Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, a darkly comedic drama that looks on as the lives of two American soldiers, an Iraqi translator, and a tiger intersect on the streets of Baghdad.

I would read this. Yes.



This is a gorgeous book. A special needs child opens up the world to a giant who refuses to have children in his garden. You. Can't Go. Wrong. Here.

First of all, I adore the cover. Second. It's a family drama and to be honest, it's not the best book to give at the holidays, never mind,  but know this! It's on sale for Kindle! (TBR for sure.)


This is fabulous, and I think it would be a perfect gift. I will copy the Amazon description here (I am pressed for time, I apologize.) 

This historic volume showcases tribal cultures around the world. With globalization, these societies are to be prized for their distinctive lifestyles, art and traditions. They live in close harmony with nature, now a rarity in our modern era. Jimmy Nelson not only presents us with stunning images of customs and artifacts, but also offers insightful portraits of people who are the guardians of a culture that they--and we--hope will be passed on to future generations in all its glory. Nelson's large-plate field camera captures every intricate detail and fine nuance for posterity. What's more, this splendid pageantry is set against a vivid backdrop of some of the world's most pristine landscapes. English/German/French edition.

Just a few books to start your list for giving to those that are hell to buy for. I used to go to B and N when they had fabulous coffee table books during the holidays. I always found one for every single book lover I know. I wish they still had zillions out there but sadly, they don't. So it's a big job looking for them online, but Amazon, B and N and other big places do have a nice collection. Moving on to my fourth week of my new job which is keeping me from online life, and from reading but not from keeping my nose into what is up around the book world. Have a good one!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! So much to be grateful for, family, friends, a job (especially for me) among a million other things. I am still thankful for books, well, what reader wouldn't be thankful for books, right? 

Stay safe, give your keys to a sober friend tonight if you have one too many and to those of you who are home and not hanging out with the Fam or your friends I hope you find a comfy place to sit among the pillows to read a good book. 

I am thankful for all of you, thank you for reading this blog, it means the world. xo

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New job, new things, and I swear I will get back here!


(That's Baboo. A very long story, perhaps I will share it someday, She's my go-to monkey when I need a photo.)


Such good news! I got a full time job at a hospital (local) doing discharge planning. I am pretty excited about it. The short end is I have to leave my mind unfettered to learn many things. 

On the book front, I have a bunch of things to write. I am hoping I can do this later tonight or this week. Post Human by David Simpson is now in a short film which is very exciting. I will post the short and talk about this great series. 

I am STILL reading the same two books for the last few months. It's pathetic really. I have never been so behind on reading. I miss it like a friend or a relative that lives all the way across the world. 

I have a page on Facebook now, The Bookhamlet, (I know all these hamlets, it's crazy...) I am linking my posts here on there and I have gone to delete it about four times now but change my mind. I kind of like having a page about books. Maintaining it is another story! I will link that later too.

I am off to see some  hospice patients on orientation and to be very honest, this is the kind of patient that needs all heart and much love and comfort. 

It feels good to be nursing again. In a great place for great patients. 

Ta! See you later.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Go back in time and find a good story...



If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the new books coming out, you may want to go back in time and read something you may find easily at book sales, library sales, even sold cheaply by sellers on Amazon. These books have stuck out in my mind as they were all read with much vigor, excitement, and a ton of  book nerd love.

I did not want to read The Rook, but a persistent book group member insisted and I was glad I listened to her. I read it rather quickly and was satisfied with the story, I loved the characters, plot, and the London setting. Perfect YA book.  (And you will never forget the name "McFawny.")


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+rook


This was a cool read, no pun intended. The setting is on the edge of a forest near mountains where a couple makes their life living on a smallish farm. A strange child comes out  of the woods when it's cold and she has a story to tell but in her own magical way. Perfect book for a sit down with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.



 I remember reading this, along with my Gan, when Oprah was planting her name all of the latest and greatest books. It was a good story, the main character, Julie Harmon is one of my most favorite characters.




This book blew me away. Stunning writing about conjoined twins about the life they are living told by each  girl separately. The writing is non exploitative, it was simply beautiful, tragic, sad, and victorious. I was so impressed I gave it out to a friend after I was finished.

 http://www.amazon.com/Girls-Novel-Lori-Lansens/dp/0316066346/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1445820682&sr=1-1&keywords=the+girls+book+lori+lansens

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. Sometimes a turn back to find good books from months ago, years ago, maybe even decades ago will never disappoint!

Buy all of them!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What's happening this month! TBRs, Grisham and Totes!


 The  TBR book pile is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. What to read next has become quite a chore. Almost finished The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz, which I have tons to write about when it comes to this book. Good and not so bad but not so good, well, really good and some meh stuff. 

But what to read next during the most busy time of the year??? 

I picked out Gray Mountain by John Grisham. It has been a long time since I have read one of his books, it's time.  Plus, no offense to Mr. Grisham, but he is a perfect read during a busy time. PLUS it's a drug store paperback! My favorite.


Shameless plugging of my friend's direct sales business. My friend R got into thirty-one which is totes and bags and purses and all kinds of really neat stuff. I was fortunate enough to book a party and had another friend book a party off of mine so I received lots of credits. One thing I adore is a bag I got for work but would happily use it as a book bag at any time. It has loads of pockets, fits iPads (probably a smallish laptop) and hardbacks, paperbacks and a couple of Kindles. Click the "thirty-one" link and it should take you right to the tote. Good quality and I am a FUSS over bags, though I collect tote bags like some collect Star Wars paraphernalia. Check them out, book a party! My friend R is truly one of the best consultants and gives one hell of a Facebook Event party. 

Link to my friend Robin, my hirty-one consultant:
http://www.mythirtyone.com/rwms70

So that is where I am in the book world. And in the book tote world as well (though the tote is going to be used for work too.) I fully intend to get more reviews out but with job hunting it's a bit hard to fit in time for blogging let alone getting a book finished!

Have the most happiest of Halloweens if I don't get back here any time soon!