It’s almost August! I feel like that needs to be shouted to the world because even though life seems to be at a crawl at the same time it’s flying by. The heat has definitely hit Nashville and I’m spending more time indoors in the cool air conditioning catching up on my reading. This last week I slowed my reading down so I could thoroughly enjoy the novel I just finished. Let’s get to it so I can tell you a little bit more!
This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.
A series that has quickly become a favorite, I was excited to sit down and read this urban fantasy novel. Do you know how there are some books that you read quickly and others where you slow your pace wanting to live in all of those anticipatory moments? This series is one of those for me. It’s so intricate, the emotions so real, I spent one week reading this novel. It comes out Tuesday and I’ve already purchased the audiobook so I can read it again!
I’m changing pace again and picking up this interesting sounding women’s fiction novel. I’m looking forward to reading a novel about a woman who may be a little closer to my age, still learning things about herself, and may possibly find a bit of romance.
What book are you reading today to help you get through this week?
My husband and I have agreed that we’re going to try to take a month off of Facebook. It’s so easy to get caught up in surfing that feed and getting frustrated or angry at people who have a difference of opinion than my own on the importance of wearing a mask, or the incompetence of our President. My husband is even worse than I am and peppers his “friends” with shared posts delivering scientific facts that he hopes will change their minds. He’s currently unemployed and I could see him spiraling into an unhealthy aggravation that we can easily avoid. So, we have agreed to call it quits with Facebook for one month. One week in and how are we doing?
Well…. I do check in on my blog Facebook page to make sure my posts are delivering but I have not gone through my feed. So I think that’s a success! I think he’s done even better and truthfully I can see a difference in both of our attitudes. We’re a little calmer, and much happier not re-hashing what so and so said and getting ourselves amped up over the stupidity of people we haven’t seen in thirty years.
Why do we still traverse the Facebook universe? I’ll admit, I do get some comments on my The Reading Chick page and I have a friend who has a group for her home business Color Street nails and she plays games and posts photo’s of manicures which sound stupid but are really fun to look at. Other than those two things I can’t say I want to go back. Then, if you throw in Zuckerberg’s views about not policing fake content, do you really want to support that? I’m mulling that one over still.
What are the things I’m turning to instead of Facebook?
1)My husband and I spend $12 a month on the NY Times digital subscription where with that subscription we also get the NY Times Crossword puzzle app. We do a LOT of crosswords. LOL.
2) I also scroll through my Twitter feed, but gosh the book nation on Twitter is just as political as the Facebook nation. Everyone is so opinionated about EVERYTHING. So, I may cut back a little on the Twitter account as well.
3) Pinterest! I love looking at pictures, reading nails, and looking at clothes I’ll never wear because I’m in t-shirts and shorts 24/7 working from home.
4) Tending our family garden. This is probably one of my favorite activities at least once or twice a day. If I need a break from work? Check and see if the tomatoes are turning red. If our cucumber crop is about to need picking- look up cucumber recipes on Pinterest! Did you know you can make cucumber bread? Yeah, kind of like zucchini bread. Funny! Who knew!
5) Bake/Cook- I made some awesome Cardamon, Orange, Dark Chocolate Chunk shortbread cookies that were to die for. I’m really interested in odd flavor combo’s lately and this one was great. Look it up on Pinterest and give it a try. Also, last night was Greek night in our household. We had all the cucumbers to make Tzaziki dip, Cucumber dip, we made hummus, cantaloupe, grilled some beef and home grown zucchini and voila! Greek night. It was pretty damn good. 🙂
6) Read more books on my TBR and watch some Netflix and chill. Pretty self explanatory, right?
You get my point though. We don’t need to do things that make us crazy. For me and my husband that was trolling Facebook. If you find yourself getting aggravated, I think you should give it a try. If you need help finding something to do I’ve got this great recipe for Green Tomato Salsa Verde I can share if you’ve got some time to burn.
Taking care of yourself means taking care of your mental health too!
Stay safe, stay calm, and reach out if you need to talk.
Hi! It’s that time of year when we all look back on the books we’ve read and evaluate our favorite’s least favorite’s, etc. I’ve done this book tag for the last couple of years and it’s always fun to write and remind myself, yes, I did read all of those books. With all that’s happened in the world this year I’ll admit that my concentration and ability to read quickly has deserted me and I’m only 46% to my goal of 180 books, and I lowered my goal at the beginning of the year by 20 books to give myself time to read. I’m not going to stress about it and just keep on reading what draws my eye and mind to try to escape from the all of the stresses.
Here are my answers to the Mid Year Book Freak Out book tag.
Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2020
There were a few books that I’ve really liked this year but Emily Henry’s Beach Read was my favorite. You know when you have that perfect storm of being in the right mood, having the quiet time to read and not be rushed, and loving all of the emotions the characters make you feel? This book was that for me.
I think the definition of a sequel is the second book in a two book series, right? Well, I’m stretching that definition to be any book after the first, in a series. Why Kings Confess is the 9th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series. Each book finds Sebastian solving a murder and those are great, but the way this author evolves these characters keeps me coming back for more, and that’s saying something when I’m listening to the audiobooks. Davina Porter is the narrator, and she’s fabulous, but they are like 14 hours each! This is my favorite so far because of the love that has developed between Sebastian and his wife Hero. His words to her? Sigh….
I eagerly bought this book and it has sat on my coffee table since March. Why? I don’t know! I love this series about Veronica and Stoker, the mysteries they solve, and their developing love and friendship for each other. I need to read it stat!
I had heard so many great things about this author and was so, so disappointed that this was my first peek at her work. I really disliked it. I hate to remember how much, actually.
A straight fiction novel is such a big departure for me. Especially lately when I only try to read books I know will have a happy ending. The Big Finish had characters with great heart and I shed a boatload of tears, but I also smiled a lot too.
When I submitted a request to read Blitzed by Alexa Martin I did it not knowing it was the third book in the series so I checked out Intercepted and Fumbled and read those, then Blitzed, all in one weekend. They were funny, irreverent, and sexy. Just what I needed to read that weekend. I LOVE this author and will snap up her next one as soon as it gets released!
Check out her bio on Penguin’s website and click HERE
I really don’t do fictional crushes so this one was difficult for me. You see, for me, it’s all about the fictional couple and their story. How they find each other and fall in love. BUT, if I had to pick one for this year, it would be Gus Everett. Although, I LOVED him with January.
Newest Favorite Characters
This book takes place in a small town in Alaska and centers around Zoey and Graham, BUT the cast of characters also shone and I can’t wait to read their stories as well! If you haven’t read this one and you need a pick me up, pick IT up!
My husband and I found ourselves with two weeks without jobs. He was laid off and I was put on a furlough for two weeks. For those of you that don’t know a furlough is where you are not paid for the time you’re out, can file for unemployment, and are guaranteed a re-entry into your old job. In my case two weeks. Instead of sitting on our butts at home and playing it safe, we decided to play it as safe as possible on the road. We are visiting a bunch of National Parks and site’s that we’ve always wanted to see, but never had the time. What does this have to do with books? Well, not a whole hell of a lot except we’ve listened to a couple audiobooks, visited a cool mural in Kansas City, and been inspired to write about the gorgeous scenery we are seeing in the great U.S. of A.
Honestly, we’ve seen so much in the past week that it’s hard to put it all down on paper, but I’ll give you some highlights, and of course show you some photo’s. Consider this our generations slideshow that when I was a kid we’d make visitors sit through when we returned from our vacation.
First night- Kansas City! Honestly this was just a stop on the road after driving for 8 hours from Nashville, but I knew I wanted to eat BBQ and take a picture in front of their library.
Our goal was to drive through South Dakota to get to Mt. Rushmore. A national monument I’d always wanted to see and a state I was supremely curious about. I fell in LOVE. What a beautiful state! Now, granted, we were seeing it in June and the weather was pleasant. This is an area that gets a TON of snow. I think we came at the right time of the year.
We passed Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home as we listened to an audiobook about the History of Bourbon. Yes, I know it’s not my normal reading, but I knew it would be something my husband would be interested in hearing. It was a little dry, but a really interesting topic!
While listening to this book I looked at this scenery. Truly glorious, isn’t it?
Can you imagine viewing this prairie and thinking about pioneer’s, wagon trains, and whether you yourself would have the fortitude to make that trip? In a car it took us 11 hours to make the drive from Kansas City to Rapid City, SD. That would equate to what, a couple of weeks, months? So no. Definitely not.
We did make a stop in the Badlands where we saw our fist buffalo, some amazing scenery and a prairie dog.
We did finally get to Mt. Rushmore, and it was splendid. In fact, after visiting that park we went to Custer National Park and on the drive there, you could see Mt. Rushmore from many different vista’s. Here’s my favorite, and yes, we wore masks the WHOLE time! I wish I could say the same for everyone else.
Because we were making things up as we went along, we stopped at a geological site and saw some Mammoth skeleton’s, went to Vail Colorado for lunch, and again enjoyed all of the different scenic vista’s of the country we were driving through. As we entered Utah and the desert, I popped in a new book that I thought my husband might enjoy. It was Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. There was actually quite a bit of humor in these tales and even though I imagined Chris Hemsworth as Thor, every time his stories were told I grew less enthralled with that character. He was really not a very bright god! In the end my imagination took me from Chris Hemsworth to a more fit (and more hair) Homer Simpson. I much prefer the movie version, but it passed the time and my husband enjoyed the stories.
We went through Arches National Park in Utah and drove down through Monument Valley on our way to the Grand Canyon, where I am right now. I haven’t seen it yet, but will let you know my thoughts! Here are a few photo’s of the previous places mentioned. I would totally recommend Arches National Park, and even the drive through Monument Valley, although I’d wait until post COVID. It was hard to find a pit stop because the Navajo and Indian nation’s have been hit pretty hard and most store’s/restaurants were closed.
One last thing! We got to Tusayan tonight and as we were heading out to dinner say this visitor walking towards us on the street. Freaked me out! It’s an elk, by the way, not a moose, and yes that is my commentary. Like I said. I was freaked!
This was our first six days on the road. I did leave some photo’s out, but gave you quite a few to ruminate over! I hope you enjoyed my slideshow, 2020 style!
Have a great Sunday! I know I will. I’ll be in California Visiting my Dad for Father’s Day. 🙂
I know this year we will all be celebrating Easter a little differently than we have in the past. Typically, if you are spiritual you may celebrate with your family at church, cook a big meal, hide the eggs and hope they all get found before the next heatwave. This year we are streaming our family church services from our couch, enjoying a nice ham sandwich, and getting nostalgic looking at photo’s of past Easter dresses and bonnets. Yes, it’s a different world we are living in right now but we can still find little ways to celebrate safely.
Google how to color your hair a soft pastel shade with food colorings you have in your kitchen. Seriously, I’m seeing pictures of some of my more conservative friends who are now rocking purple or pink hair.
2. Now that your hair is styling, get out of your PJ’s and switch to your pastel colored leggings and fuzzy socks and stream your church service. Even though you can’t see all of your friends, it will be nice to hear your pastor’s voice deliver his Easter message. Here is my own local church service live at 10am cst. St. George’s Episcopal Church
3. I am lucky enough (well, most of the time I think this way) to live on my family’s property and because we are in constant contact with each other, and all of us are practicing social distancing we feel good about eating dinner together nightly. For our Easter dinner I’ll be making a Coconut cake with pistachio buttercream filling. I already have some prepared leftover pistachio buttercream and now need to attempt a homemade cake. THANK YOU PINTEREST! There are so…many….recipes!
4. Watch your favorite holiday movie while holding hands with your significant other. I say that last because I sleep in the same bed with my husband so I figure what he’s got, I’ve got. One of my favorite Easter movies is an oldie called East Parade with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire. I haven’t watched it in years, but I may torture my husband today by finding this and singing along while I watch Judy Garland try to get noticed in NYC’s Easter Parade.
I’m really going to have to find this movie, it’s bringing back such great memories!
5. Curl up in your favorite reading spot and finish that book you just started. For me that would be Jasmine’s Guillory’s The Proposal. I find that a romance takes me away from reality and that happily ever after gives me a moment of happiness. I’d recommend this one because it’s funny too!
Regardless of how you spend your Easter today, please spend it safely in your own home. Skype with friends or do a Zoom family reunion. Our troubles are not yet behind us, but they will be soon!
Week three of this working from home thing. It’s not all bad, but it does get rather boring. I find my attention wanders and I procrastinate quite a bit more than I do if I’m sitting in an office.
Speaking of which, yesterday I got an email from my cousin Madalaine, who lives up in Illinois and is also practicing social distancing and staying at home with her family. She sent me this clever idea that I thought I’d share with you all as a way to engage, even if only through this post. She and her friends are sending emails to each other talking about the Top 10 things they are doing while practicing social distancing. I thought I’d give you my 10 that I sent back to her.
10 ACCOMPLISHMENTS WHILE SOCIAL DISTANCING
1. Walk two miles with the dog twice a day.
2. Put makeup on every day regardless of whether wearing yoga pants and a t-shirt.
3. Tackle some of the recipe’s that we have ingredients for in the house. Or creative cook/bake! (Last week I made some yummy Hazelnut Praline White and Chocolate Chip cookies from extra’s we had in the house).
4. Corona Cocktails on the weekend! I’ve done three so far and they’ve been pretty tasty. Again, using ingredients we already have in the house. Sidenote- my drinks are a little strong but not too many complaints. The picture below is a Dark and Stormy. Rum, Ginger Beer, and Lime. Tasty!
5. Puzzles! We have been on a puzzle binge. I think we are on our 5th?
6. Finish out some TV series we’ve had recorded and start up some new ones. After seeing Josh Gates at the Ryman, Derry and I are binge watching Expedition Unknown. There are 7 seasons if you’re interested! We love the archeology and adventure aspects. Plus he’s adorably dorky-cute.
7. Clean out my drawers. I’m pretty good about the closet because we live in such a small space, but boy do I have too many t-shirts, pj’s, and old underwear. TMI, I know! LOL and I promise, no pictures of this one.
8. Call, instant message, and/or Skype with someone every day. Stay in touch! I’ve got friends up in New Jersey and New York that I’m worried about and now is a great time to tell them I’m thinking of them.
9. Watch a couple of movies. I have the attention span of a gnat, so I do much better with hour long shows, but there are so many movies I’d like to see! We did watch Murder Mystery on Netflix. It stars Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler and was so cute!
10. READ, READ, READ. Gosh, I have so many books and now that I have the time, I should catch up on my reading!
If you’d like to chime in and let me and all of your followers know what your 10 Accomplishments are while social distancing, please feel free! I’d love to read them so please tag me!
Take care and get to work on your next accomplishment!
Good afternoon, or morning if you’re in another country and are reading this post with your morning tea or coffee. I have another week in the books on working from home. I’ve started to overcome my main challenge. Snacking indiscriminately. I know this is a challenge that many of us WFH-ers are facing, the fact that snacks are easily accessible. When you go to work in an office, you have only the snacks you bring to work with you. At my work we don’t have a kitchen with a coke machine or vending machine so it really controls those impulses. Now, I make sure to have on hand healthier options than cookies and candy. It helps that I haven’t gone to the store in a little while and haven’t replenished those goods.
One thing has changed. I have a new WFH co-worker!
My husband is now also working from home. We live in a 700 sq ft apartment and have had to shift a chair into storage and bring up an old table for him to use as a desk. We’ll see how this works out. First day in and we’ve been very respectful of each others spaces. I’m kind of going to miss listening to my audiobooks on the speaker system and will have to get used to my earbuds again.
As far as desks go, I definitely got the better option.
Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone I was on Facebook!
After sitting her staring at these Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris I realized I just may have to re-read this series. It’s been years! Good news is I think I’ll be able to clear my schedule and make that happen.
I got news today from work that we are working from home indefinitely. The school is closed through 4/24, but TN is way behind the northeast, who have already canceled the school year so I can almost guarantee that that date will get pushed into May. I know I’m not the only one who is in this situation and am trying to be patient, follow the guidelines of the CDC and our government (god help us). Hopefully we’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.
As always, please stay safe! Social distancing is still so important in helping us slow down this virus, so please do your part.
Hi from Nashville, Tennessee! This week Nashville and most of the US have joined the majority of Europe in instituting Social Distancing in order to try to “slow the curve” of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus. What is Social Distancing? It is working from home, staying 6 feet away from another person, minimizing your contact with society, and with washing your hands (ALL THE TIME) hopefully helping to halt the spread of the virus.
Working from home, or WFH, sounds great but in the last week I’ve definitely learned that there are more con’s than pro’s.
WFH PRO’S AND CONS
Feeling like I’m on vacation- Normally when I’m “at home” it’s because I have the day off, it’s the weekend, or occasionally I’m sick. When any of these things happen I have free reign over what I can do with my time. I might read, write on my blog, watch TV, bake, run errands, etc. 830a-530p are my work hours and with the exception of an hour for lunch I should be working.
Social interaction- I’m the Marketing Manager for Nashville Ballet, so normally I work on a team and have constant interaction as we complete projects. The only personal interaction I have right now?
Meet my new team members! Sam on the left and Nash is on the right. I love them to death, but they also think I’m on vacation.
Personal space is gone. LOL.
ALL THE SNACKS!- I’m now a week into this WFH situation and I’m doing a little better with this issue, but it took me eating a box of Ginger Snap cookies in two days to see that I needed to take control of my eating habits. Leave the cookies on the shelf and grab the apple, Deb. That’s my new mantra.
Worry- After my first couple of days freaking out over all of the news exposure and going to the store and waiting in super long lines to get my share of toilet paper, milk, and bread I decided to do my thing, wash my hands and tune it out. At least until the 4p news where I’d find out the latest virus growth rate and store closures in the US. I’ve read my share of post-apocalyptic romances and this true life scenario is scaring the bejeezus out of me. So, watching the news does not make for a very productive day.
As an aside, I have to say that this all reminds me of Rebecca Zanetti’s Scorpius Syndrome series. The further you read in the series the more alpha the heroes get but the gov’t is corrupted by this virus also. You can only hope we aren’t headed in that direction…. It’s actually a good series, but a little life-like for me right now. I’ll drop the link below in case you are interested.
Synopsis: With nothing but rumors to lead her, Lynne Harmony has trekked across a nightmare landscape to find one man—a mysterious, damaged legend who protects the weak and leads the strong. He’s more than muscle and firepower—and in post-plague L.A., he’s her only hope. As the one woman who could cure the disease, Lynne is the single most volatile—and vulnerable—creature in this new and ruthless world. But face to face with Jax Mercury… . Mercury Striking (The Scorpius Syndrome)
I’ve mentioned a couple of the con’s and given you a good post apocalyptic book rec, but what are the pro’s?
MOM- My mom is in the top percentile at risk if she does catch the coronavirus. She’s 78 and has pretty bad asthma. Living in a multi-generational home, I was worried that I was going to have this virus attach itself to me at work and bring it home to infect my mother. I guess that could still happen because even though we are all limiting our involvement with the outside world we do occasionally venture out to the store and my husband who works in the newsroom at a local tv station still has to go into work every day. BUT we are doing what we can. We aren’t eating out, we’re not going to movies, we aren’t going to a concert, etc. Well, now you can’t do any of those things anyway, but over the last week we didn’t. I feel like my family has been proactive. That’s all you can do.
Spending even a moment more with my babies is a joy. If I’m feeling down I just reach out and get a kiss or a hug and it makes me feel better. If my dog wasn’t an 85 lb ball of energy I’d request that I take him to work once a week. He’s such a love bug.
Baking!- Maybe I can knock out a couple more of my Bouchon Bakery recipes. It would have to be something I have all of the ingredients for but I think I’ve some basics in the house.
Maybe I’ll even have time to read a book. Hmmmm. I bet I can find the time to do that one first!
I hope everyone is staying safe, keeping your distance, and washing your hands. We’ll get though this and I think come out on the other side an even better world than we are right now.
Tuesday night around midnight a tornado ripped through Nashville. Starting in a popular historical neighborhood called Germantown, jumping the river into East Nashville and then staying on the ground for 60 miles through Mt. Juliet and Cookeville. Was it a blessing or a curse that it happened in the middle of the night? There was a school that had considerable damage, so I guess a blessing because if there had been kids in that school hundreds could have been injured and died. That it happened in the middle of the night meant if you had awakened to the sirens you could find your safe place, but some people were ripped out of their homes and died. 24 of them.
I live in the city of Nashville and thankfully saw little damage. However, my husband and I have an Airbnb in East Nashville and we had guests staying in it the night it hit. Our place was in the path of the tornado but a block away it veered east and our block was skipped. Our guests were ok. I can’t even tell you the relief I felt.
I’m in a Facebook group for Airbnb’s in Nashville and this woman told her story about her home getting hit in Germantown. Their guest had to be cut out of the host Airbnb because she was framed in by bars. That guest was fine, and in fact, stayed to help clean up the area. I’m tearing up as I write this because that is only one of the many wonderful stories that I’ve heard in the aftermath of this storm. Thousands of people are donating, bringing food and water, cooking and giving out free bbq, cleaning debris, putting tarps over holes in people’s roof’s, and so much more. I’ve always loved the city of Nashville and these stories only make me love it that much more. The people here are really that special.
Here are a few photo’s from the damage from the storm. These building’s span businesses, low income property, and homes. These people’s lives have been disrupted in a huge way. There is an organization who has handled the majority of volunteers, donations, etc. If you feel like donating to help Nashville’s recovery please do!
Most book bloggers started reading as children and have a huge catalog of books that are favorites, or struck a chord for a certain time in our lives. Have you ever gone back and re-read a novel that you just loved when you were younger but now you see all of it’s faults and frailties through eyes that have lived a little. Or you notice how women, ethnic people, or children may have been treated poorly even though at the time that book was written those things weren’t questioned? How does that affect what you think of that long loved book?
Recently, I read a post from another blogger who was talking about a much loved science fiction novel that she’d read over and over throughout her life but as time went on she realized, ‘wait a minute’ some of these things this author says in this novel just aren’t right! Does that mean I shouldn’t like this novel anymore? Do I overlook those things because it was acceptable at the time it was written? If I’m thinking these things does the author who wrote them cringe at their own words? Do they wish for a do-over? Is it acceptable to re-write a novel written ages ago to make it acceptable for today’s readers? I’m not talking Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, or Gone with the Wind- all books that have been re-hashed, re-printed, and gone over in schools ad nauseam. Also all books that have a few cringeworthy moments.
We live in an age where we try so hard to be politically correct. Bloggers focus on books where diverse characters are highlighted, explored, and celebrated. Would we like The Wizard of Oz more if the Lollipop Guild had been female gay rights activists and Dorothy was fighting for equal rights against the tyranny of a misogynistic Wizard? Hmm, maybe I’m onto something here!
How would readers feel if some of their favorite books were re-written? Would I still love that book? I really don’t know if I would. There’s something about an emotional connection to a book because it was read at the right time. Maybe when “that” book was written and popular it was that books moment to shine regardless of how I now feel about it 20 years later? If it was a piece of art and I was looking at the painting at age 12 and again at age 25 I wouldn’t have the same viewpoint. The same thing applies to a book. My life’s experiences no longer allow me to view it in the same way and I guess I’m ok with that.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite book that you’ve re-read and thought “well, wait, did she really just say that?”
If you read all the way through this post, thanks for listening to the thoughtful ramblings of a bookaholic.