quick lit – next page, please {april 2016}

I love Quick Lit time. I can brag to you about all of the books that I read (LOL); four books this month and am currently six books ahead of schedule to read 36 books this year. However, when I tell you my life is hectic this week, I am not lying in any way so just the books and some favorite quotes this month. I may expound on some of these at a later date.

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Read

  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan:“There is no immortality that is not built on friendship and work done with care. All the secrets in the world worth knowing are hiding in plain sight….Your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wander in.”
  • The Travelers by Chris Pavone“Will wants everything to be perfect. He wants the perfect wife, the perfect kids, the perfect old townhouse, perfectly restored, where he’ll serve perfect food accompanied by perfect wines in perfect glasses. He wants his suit perfectly tailored, his shoes perfectly shined. He wants the hotel room to be perfect, the overnight train ride, the local tour guide. And he has made the relentless pursuit of perfection his career.”

Stopped Abandoned Reading:

I have changed the title from stopped to abandoned because it is more in line with the wording for MMD’s Reading Challenge.

As usual, linking up with Quick Lit over on Modern Mrs. Darcy. Check out what everyone else is reading.

quick lit – next page, please {march 2016}

 

 I love Quick Lit time – time to post what I have been reading this month.

Read:

  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: Modern Mrs. Darcy (Yes, her again! LOL) recommended this book for someone who has the Meyers-Briggs personality type of ISTJ: capable, logical, reasonable and peaceful, which happens to be close to my type, as the perfect summer read. The only problem was that it took FOREVER to get it from the library. I absolutely LOVED this book and I can see while the Hold list was so long; it has climbed the ladder to be one of my favorite novels of all time. I blew through this during the 3 and ½ hour flight home. So many great quotes. “He feels naked when speaking about things he really loves.” I feel like this too. And “Sometimes books don’t find us until the right time. Also very true, indeed.
  • Wildflower by Drew Barrymore: I really liked reading this series of short stories about Barrymore’s life and what she learned through them. Here she talks about her feelings for her mom; who quite arguably, could have been a better mom. “I want only to say thank you to her, because I love my life and it takes every step to get to where you are, and if you are happy, then God bless the hard times it took you to get there. No life is without them, so what are yours, and what did you do with the lessons? That is the only way to live.” My question to myself has become just that: what I am doing with my lessons?
  • French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure by Mireille Guiliano: I started reading Bringing Up Bébé by Pamela Druckerman and became fascinated by the French mindset of how they enjoy life: living every moment in that moment. I remembered hearing about this book a long time ago and Oprah and decided to pick it up and see what it was about. I finished this one but am still working through Bringing Up Bébé. My two takeaways are from these two quotes: (1) “I also had to cultivate my appreciation for what I was having. In short, …[the] French way of enjoying those foods that can be friend or foe depending on how we treat them. The keys are sensory awareness, portion sense, quality, and an eye to the big picture of overall wellness.” And (2) “If you can’t name your pleasures, chances are you’ve surrendered to many of them. It’s time to start cultivating.” A problem that I have had until recently.
  • Every Day I Fight by Stuart Scott: When I met my basketball-loving Hubby 13 years ago, I started watching ESPN’s Sportscenter with him, which was often anchored by Stuart Scott. I began to feel like I knew him, I saw him so often. When he was first diagnosed with cancer, of course, I was aware and we saw him fight and go into remission a number of times. When he died January 4, 2015, it hit me a little hard. I loved this book because it gave me a perspective into what those who are fighting cancer may feel like in a way I pray selfishly, I will never be able to understand. This perspective is invaluable to me as I am a Chemo Card Angel. More about that here. I loved this quote by Scott:“Nerves are good. What are nerves, after all? They’re just energy.” Sometimes it’s hard working up the nerve to write these blog posts, I gotta tell ya!

Currently Reading:

Paused Reading

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Had to return this one to the library (someone wanted it) and thus will have to get back to it later.
  • Daring Greatly by Brené Brown: Yep, still paused.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: While not my favorite way to read, there is something to be said about reading books digitally, on a Kindle or other mobile device. You can do it while you are traveling at night! Started this while returning from my 10 Year Anniversary Trip. Haven’t been in the dark since and thus my digital loan expired. Not sure if I am going to re-borrow it but I am leaving the door open.

I have read 12 books out of my goal to read 36 books this year; I am 5 books ahead of schedule – a nice cushion for the Holidays when things get hectic.  I don’t want to have to make a big push at the end of the year to make my reading goal.

As usual, I am linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy. Check out what everyone else is reading over there.

What have you been reading?

quick lit – next page, please {february 2016}

 

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Here we are again, Quick Lit link-up time with Modern Mrs. Darcy. I am having a really good time telling you guys about what I have been reading and you continue to hold me accountable to my goal of reading 36 books in 2016. I have read 7 books and am currently 4 books ahead of schedule.

Read:

  • The Expats by Chris Pavonne: I previously abandoned this book a about a year ago so this fulfilled the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s 2016 Reading Challenge category: Book You Previously Abandoned. I have been thinking about why I abandoned it. The novel’s main character, Kate is a new stay-at-home mom who has just quit her job. I believe the novel was hitting too close to home in this regard at the time. The emotions that Kate feels, her resentment, her guilt, her boredom, are all emotions that I have felt over the past year since having my son. Since completing the book, I found that I really liked it; as I initially knew I would. I thoroughly enjoyed Pavonne’s second book, The Accident, which I read first because it was a novel about books, publishing, etc. I am looking forward to the release of his third book, The Travelers, releasing next month! And like Kate, (spoiler ahead) I feel like I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of my stay-at-home boredom. I “will reboot [myself]. Relaunch.”
  • The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro: Over the past year I have discovered that I really enjoy books about art and art forgery. I really enjoyed this novel; it was entertaining and I read it in 24 hours. Thus another Reading Challenge category: Book You Can Finish In a Day checked. The novel had a lot of flashbacks which could have been confusing but with the change in the font for each time period, it was easy to keep up with the action.
  • Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr: I enjoyed Doerr’s writing style which was hauntingly beautiful and sometimes made me ache. So I took my time reading it even though it was a relatively small book. His memories of life with his young twin infant sons, is what I am currently living through right now, the teething being first and foremost. I am also suffering from imsomnia. I am writing this at 3 AM. When I get up to tend to the Buddy Man, sometimes I find that I cannot go back to sleep. So I read. I write. I try to make it productive. And like Doerr, I ask:“Is this what it means to be a parent – to constantly fail to be in control of anything?”
  • Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle: This was a YA novel and I have not read many YA novels. This seemed to be what your typical YA novel would be, to me: easy to read Kissing Shakespeareand an easy to understand storyline. I enjoyed the time travel aspect (it is fun to read about individuals going back or coming forward to a time not their own. I have loved this ever since I first read Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain). The picture on the cover was slightly misleading in terms of the kind of book it was going to be.  It had a some dark moments that I didn’t expect and  I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought that I would.
  • Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman: I heard a lot of good things about this book and I downloaded a sample few months ago. I started it but it took me a while to really get into her writing style. Then the ebook became available for 99 cents about a month ago and I got it. I used it as my inspirational/devotional reading in the morning and I enjoyed it immensely. I highlighted many thought-provoking quotations and will probably reread this many times during my lifetime. One that particularly struck me was this one about how I use to live prior to my journey of comfortably being and what I constantly struggle against to this day: “It’s possible to live as though every move you make is an anxious attempt to avoid unwanted consequences rather than a thoughtful decision to move toward life.”
  • 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam: This book caused me to rethink my personal belief system about time and what I can do as a mom. “A life is a bundle of task and activities an individual takes on.  Some, like sleeping and eating, are required, but the rest are simply combinations of choices each of us makes, bundled together for one reason or another…”

Currently Reading:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Fulfilling the 2016 Reading Challenge category: Book You Should Have Read in School. I know, I know! How can I have a degree in English and not have read this great American classic? The subject matter: rape and racial inequality are not my typical reading fare and it was never assigned in school so I never picked it up. However, my good friend, Jamila was reading it recently and loved it! Between her recommendation and the discussion about it on Episode 4 of What Should I Read Next podcast, I figured now was the time.
  • Wildflower by Drew Barrymore: I have always been fascinated by Drew Barrymore: her personality, her outlook on life, her history. I admire how she has become the woman that she is today. I thought her book would give me some insights so I picked it up with a huge stack of other Holds from my library.  I didn’t think that it would be the one that I read first (I generally look at my stack and skim the first few pages of each book before deciding what to read next, if I don’t have a particular one in mind). I started and didn’t move on to the others and now I am flying through it.

Paused Reading:

What have you read lately that was really good. Tell me in the comments. It’s not like my TBR list isn’t long enough yet.:)

enjoy life…